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In the valley of the shadow

What feels like death will not overcome you, and you are not alone.

Person walking into fog with limited light
Photo by Jaredd Craig on Unsplash

The truth is, I have been far from my best this semester and year. Between healing from trauma, constant overwhelm and overstimulation, crises in all departments and capacities, sleepless nights, health emergencies, and technological mayhem, I literally broke down. I have never felt so emotionally and mentally depleted. I have never felt my capacity to give dwindle to this degree. I've never cried so much or seen my anxiety levels skyrocket to this degree. I have never felt so alone, and so masked behind my smiles. Holding the joy I so desperately want to hold on to together with the hopelessness I've increasingly felt feels like an impossible task. Additionally, I have been so clearly confronted with my failure to ask for help sooner. I've begun to realize how easy it is to try to do it all on our own and forget that we were never designed to do it all. We were designed to live and breathe and exist in community. And we must both give and receive within it.


If there's anything this semester has shown me in a new way, it's that most of us suffer in silence. Everyone has something they are managing, but hardly surviving. We plaster smiles on our faces, attempt productivity, and walk away feeling alone, inadequate, weak, and hopeless. Like we will never do and be enough for anybody. The last months and weeks have shown me that others' openness and honesty encourage my sense of peace and grounding. And that opening up allows others like me to feel seen and ask for help.


Sometimes, it feels like I can't promise that it gets better. But what I do know, is that I can remain deeply rooted in moments of joy like the ones I'm sharing with you now. Moments that remind me that I am loved. I may feel lost, but not abandoned. Frustrated, but not forsaken. Pressed on all sides, but not crushed. Anxious, but reassured and deeply cherished, even in my fear.*


Regardless of your circumstances, accomplishments, sense of security, or lack of peace, you too are loved friend. If no one else says it, I love you. And I'm so grateful you are in my life. Please, hold that love for yourself today. Hang in there. There will be another side, and pockets of joy will carry us there.


Wishing you love and peace,

Bel


*Inspired by 2nd Corinthians 4

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Who am I? Just a girl pondering the meaning of life and what it means to live joyfully, regardless of the circumstances. Welcome to my "Notes Corner" aka my thoughts on life - sit back and read awhile, I love company!

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